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Full text of "A history of Persia"

3o                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                CHAP.
was still the real leader, crossed the moat by night on
inflated skins, escaladed the battlements, and captured the
city. A second victory on the plain of Esdraelon ended
the campaign and riveted the Moslem yoke on Syrja.
Reinforcements were then despatched to Irak, where they
arrived just in time to win the battle of Cadesia.
The Capture of Antioch and the Capitulation of
Jerusalem, A.H. 15 (636).—After the battle of the Jordan
the Moslems marched northwards and besieged Hims, the
ancient Emessa, which capitulated. Antioch, too, surren-
dered after a battle fought outside its walls, and Heraclius,
scarcely more than a decade after his splendid victories
over Persia, withdrew from Syria, leaving Jerusalem to
its fate. The Holy City of Christendom capitulated in
A.H. 15 (636), and Omar arrived in person to receive its
submission. He marked this historical event by acts of
clemency and by the foundation of the mosque which bears
his name to-day.
The Conquest of Egypt^ A.H. 19-20 (640-641),—While
the Arabs were making good their position in South-
western Persia before advancing on to the Iranian plateau,
Amr started from Palestine to invade Egypt with a force
of only 4000 men. Omar, alarmed at the risk that was
being run, at first thought of recalling his daring general,
but on realizing that this was impossible sent him consider-
able reinforcements. With an army now 15,000 strong
he had the country at his mercy. He first annexed
Upper Egypt, and then marched on Alexandria, the
second city of the Byzantine Empire, to which he laid
siege. The death of Heraclius, occurring at this juncture,
prevented the despatch of a relieving squadron, and the
city capitulated on terms. Not content with these con-
quests, the forces of Amr marched west along the southern
coast of the Mediterranean as far as Tripoli.
The Assassination of Omar, A.H. 23 (644).—By this
time the power of Islam had been firmly established.
Ther empire of the Chosroes had been annexed and that
of Byzantium defeated and deprived of its fairest and
richest provinces. Omar, under ^whose master mind
these wonderful campaigns had been conducted with